Archive for 2016

Dead Canaries And Disobedient Falcons: Bad Month Coming, Especially For Banks

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Corporate profitability is one of the canaries in today’s financial coal mine. If companies are making more money each year they tend to hire more people, pay more taxes and generally make life easier for everyone else. But when earnings decline, everything from government budgeting to personal financial planning gets much harder.

Viewed through this lens, 2015 was a “coming to grips” year in which the financial markets vacillated over the meaning of falling corporate profits: Are they an aberration or the new normal?

The next corporate earnings season — commencing this week — will apparently settle the matter in favor of new normal:

Stand by for terrible news from Wall Street …

(Business Insider) – We are about to get confirmation that earnings growth for America’s biggest companies was negative in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year ago.

When aluminum giant Alcoa releases its results on Monday, it will mark the unofficial start of the heaviest reporting season for S&P 500 companies. Earnings [are projected to be] negative for a third straight quarter.

Earnings expectations for S&P 500 companies usually tumble in the months leading up to the heavy reporting weeks. This year, the drop was steeper than usual. Earnings estimates have dropped 9% year-to-date, more than double the 4% decline typically recorded three months before earnings season, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch chief equity and quant strategist Savita Subramanian.

Earnings revisions April 16

Obviously, energy-related companies will have the toughest comparisons since the price of their main product is down by about half year-over-year. But the bigger story is banking, where the environment has changed in ways that look disturbingly persistent.

Bank Stock Roundup: Dismal Q1 Earnings Picture Dominate; Citi & JPMorgan in Focus

(Zacks) – Major banking stocks remained under pressure over the last five trading days reflecting concerns over weak first-quarter 2016 results, due to commence next week. With investment banking revenues projected to be disappointing and a lower trading revenue outlook provided by some of the major banks, the earnings picture looks rather subdued heading into the first quarter results. Therefore,


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News You Can Use From Phil’s Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Bank of America: The Biggest Part of the U.S. Economy Might Be Rolling Over (Bloomberg)

The U.S. consumer might have gone AWOL in March.

How Bad Is China's Debt Problem, Really? (Bloomberg View)

For months now, China's regulators have been warning about the dangers of rapidly expanding credit and the need to deleverage. Withnew plans to clean up bad loans at the country's banks, you might conclude that the government is getting serious about the risks it faces.

But there's reason to doubt the effectiveness of China's approach. In fact, it's running a serious risk of making its debt problems worse.

Oil Rises Most in Two Months on U.S. Output Drop, Freeze Talks (Bloomberg)

Oil rose the most in two months as U.S. crude production continued to slide before talks between suppliers to discuss freezing output.

Beijing risks 'ERM-style' currency crisis as deflation persists (Telegraph)

A top adviser to the Chinese government has warned that Beijing risks a currency blow-up akin to Britain's traumatic ordeal in 1992, if it continues trying to defend its exchange rate peg amid a deepening deflation crisis.

Will Earnings Spark a Big Move in Stocks? (Dash of Insight)

The economic calendar is moderate. Fed Heads are out in force. More significant is the start of “earnings season.” There is always speculation about earnings, but this time is special.

SPX-five-day

Why U.S. Infrastructure Costs So Much (Bloomberg View)

The U.S. ought to be spending more on infrastructure. This is the view of all right-thinking people, and as a right-thinking person I of course endorse it. With interest rates near record lows and the working-age population still, by historical and international standards, underemployed, governments (or in some cases entrepreneurs) should be borrowing much more to repave roads, shore up bridges, expand mass-transit systems, build new sewage-treatment plants, replace water mains, you name it. 

JPM Annual Report 2015 (Brooklyn Investor)

It's been a while since I last posted.  The only explanation, I suppose, is


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28 Blank Pages: Washington’s Cover-Up Of The Saudi Role In The 9/11 Terrorist Attack Continues

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

In light of today’s 60 Minutes segment, according to which classified “28 pages” may shed light on Saudi ties to terrorism, here is a an article which was originally posted in the December 2015 edition of Future of Freedom. More to follow tomorrow.

28 Blank Pages: Washington’s Cover-Up Of The Saudi Role In The 9/11 Terrorist Attack Continues

Do Americans have the right to learn whether a foreign government helped finance the 9/11 attacks? A growing number of congressmen and senators are demanding that a 28-page portion of a 2002 congressional report finally be declassified. The Obama administration appears to be resisting, and the stakes are huge. What is contained in those pages could radically change Americans’ perspective on the war on terror.

The congressional Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, completed its investigation in December 2002. But the Bush administration stonewalled the release of the 838-page report until mid 2003 — after its invasion of Iraq was a fait accompli — and totally suppressed a key portion. Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) chairman of the investigation, declared that “there is compelling evidence in the 28 pages that one or more foreign governments was involved in assisting some of the hijackers in their preparation for 9/11.” Graham later indicated that the Saudis were the guilty party. But disclosing Saudi links to 9/11 could have undermined efforts by some Bush administration officials to tie Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks.

Almost everyone has forgotten how hard the Bush administration fought to torpedo that report. In April 2003, controversy raged on Capitol Hill over the Bush administration’s continuing efforts to suppress almost all of the report by the Joint Intelligence Committee investigation. Some intelligence officials even insisted on “reclassifying” as secret some of the information that had already been discussed in public hearings, such as the FBI Phoenix Memo. On May 13, Senator Graham accused the Bush administration of engaging in a “cover-up” and said that the report from the congressional investigation “has not been released because it is, frankly, embarrassing … embarrassing as to what happened before September 11th, but maybe even more so the fact that the lessons of September 11th are not being applied today to…
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China CPI Misses, Drops Sequentially As PPI Declines For 49 Consecutive Months

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

There was some good and some bad news in tonight’s Chinese March inflation (and deflation in the case of PPI) data.

The good news, for those who believe that rising inflation is a positive economic outcome, was that Producer Prices declined “only” 4.3% Y/Y, or less than the -4.6% exoected, and better than the -4.9% drop last month. On a sequential basis, PPI rose by 0.5% on the back of various commodity input prices posting a modest increase in the past month on the back of China’s epic January loan injection.

However, putting that rebound in context, on an annual basis, Chinese gate inflation, or rather deflation, has now been negative for 49 consecutive months.

The not so good news, was in the CPI print, which rose 2.3% Y/Y, missing expectations, and in line with last month’s identical increase. This tied headline inflation at a 22 month high, even as non-food inflation rose a paltry 1% in March.

On a sequential basis, however, CPI dropped by 0.4% M/M, driven by a 0.1% decline in non-food inflation coupled with a much needed 1.8% drop in food inflation. As a reminder, in recent months Chinese food inflation has exploded driven by a 60% jump in pork prices which had risen to the point where the population was starting to grumble about the surging prices of this most popular protein in the mainland.

Still, on a Y/Y basis, food inflation rose once more, increasing 7.6% Y/Y and remains the only stable component of inflation, hardly the “diet” for a stable, growing economy, in which consumers are forced to spend their discretionary income on staples instead of pushing up broader, core prices.

The best news, however, since China’s inflation appears to have once again peaked, is that this means the media will be flooded with expectations of more stimulus from the PBOC in the form of either RRR or interest rate cuts, which in turn pushed the Shanghai Composite more than 1% higher and back over 3000 (which may  or may not be the result of more direct PBOC buying: as a reminder, as of last week we now know the Chinese central bank is directly buying bank stocks, breaking a core central banking taboo).

Then again, whether the PBOC agrees with…
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Obama Announces Unexpected Meeting With Yellen Following Tomorrow’s “Expedited Procedures” Fed Meeting

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One of the more significant, if largely underreported events from last Friday, was the Fed’s surprising announcement that it would conduct a closed meeting tomorrow, April 11, at 11:30am “under expedited procedures” during which the Board of Governors will review and determine advance and discount rates charged by the Fed banks.

This is notable because the last time such a meeting took place was on November 21, less then a month before the Fed’s historic first rate hike in years.

Moments ago things got even more interesting, when in yet another unexpected announcement, the White House said that both Obama and Joe Biden would meet with Janet Yellen on Monday to discuss the economy and Wall Street reform, the White House said late on Sunday. The meeting is expected to take place some time “in the afternoon.”

“In the afternoon, the president will meet with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to discuss the state of the American and global economy, Wall Street reform, and the long-term economic outlook; the vice president will also attend,” the statement said.

According to Reuters, the president and the Fed chair meet regularly to discuss economic issues. Still, one can’t help but wonder what will be said in these two back to back meetings, both of which will be closed to the public.

In the meantime, we are confident numerous Fed speakers will explain how the Fed may or may not raise rates in the immediate future, unless it of course, does not, all depending on data which the Fed no longer cares about.





CEO Keith Neumeyer: “There’s Going To Be A Major Revolt If We See Negative Rates”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mac Slabo of SHFTPlan.com

CEO Keith Neumeyer Warns: “There’s Going To Be a Major Revolt… We’re Going To See Riots

With negative interest rates now the order of the day in much of the Western world, it’s only a matter of time before financial institutions start charging American depositors for the privilege of keeping their money safe in the U.S. banking system.

And according to Keith Neumeyer in his latest interview with SGT Report, that could spell disaster for socio-economic stability. Neumeyer, who is the CEO of one of the world’s top primary silver producers First Majestic Silver and the Chairman of mineral bank firm First Mining Finance, says that should The Fed and government policy makers implement negative interest rates and continue on their current course of bailing out big business while impoverishing average Americans, we could well see riots in the streets.

Negative interest rates are a way that governments are trying to tax the people… it’s going to start with big corporations that have a lot of cash sitting around in the banks and then it’s going to trickle down to the average person on the street… the people that get hurt are the small investor… the people that could least afford it…  the retired people that rely on their interest on their savings that they expected to have… this is all changing… the world is changing…

I think there’s going to be a major revolt… If we actually do see negative interest rates in North America…  we’re going to see riots.

The Fed has lost credibility. And that has left the average person on the street with an air of uncertainty and concern over the stability of the system.

This, says Neumeyer, is why many investors, both large and small, have started turning to tangible assets as a safe haven.

The Fed is losing credibility… there’s talk of negative interest rates… people are looking to gold now as a safe haven to be in as protection against these major forces that are occurring in the world.

But it’s not just the retail investor that is terrified of the consequences of Fed policy.

We’re seeing State mining companies go on an


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Blackrock Turns Its Back On Japan Leaving Kuroda Scrambling

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Things are going from bad to worse for the efficacy of the grand – and failed from the beginning – experiment known as Abenomics. As Bloomberg reports, Larry Fink’s Blackrock has changed its stance on investing in Japan, and joins Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and LGT Capital Partners, the $50 billion asset manager based in Switzerland in their decision to head for the exits.

Ironically, Blackrock’s decision comes only a few months after blogging about “The Case for Investing in Japan”, in which they explicitly cited increased demand for Japanese stocks.

INCREASED DEMAND FOR JAPANESE STOCKS

The BOJ and other large institutions have increased their investments in Japanese equities. Meanwhile, the recent successful Japan Post initial public offering has renewed domestic interest in equities and likely increased demand for Japanese equities by investors around the globe.

This is the latest in a long list of setbacks for Japan in their quest to inflate consumer prices and their stock market. Foreign investors have been getting out of the market all year long, as concerns about the global economy and a strenthening yen continue to be at the forefront. So far they’ve dumped $46 billion in shares according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Japan is doing all it can (according to the Abenomics playbook). NIRP, Japan’s latest central bank tool form the proverbial “toolbox” has been fully implemented, with a negative 10Y bond auctioned just last month. So far it is not enough.

It has also apparently done enough damage on the fixed income side to sway the worlds biggest state investor, their very own Government Pension Investment Fund, to move more into equities. However with other major players not wanting to be invested in Japan, the BoJ may very well have to increase their ETF holdings to roughly 100%.

But most entertaining would be Peter Panic’s reaction. A photographer’s s rendering of Kuroda’s face upon hearing that even his most devoted supporters are now giving up on him would probably look like the change from this…

… To this





Japan Says G-20 Accord Barring FX Devaluations Does Not “Rule Out Intervention” In The Yen

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One of the biggest unconfirmed secrets of recent market action was whether or not there was a Shanghai Accord in February, in which the G20 and central bankers decided to push the dollar lower to benefit China at the expense of Japan and Europe, both of whom have suffered substantially in recent weeks as a result of their own currencies surging, pushing local stock markets lower (and sending European banks sliding).

Earlier today, Japan’s government spokesman Suga came as close as possible to admitting that there was in fact a tacit “Shanghai Accord” agreement when he said that the Group of 20′s agreement to avoid competitive currency devaluation “does not mean Japan cannot intervene in response to one-sided currency moves.”

It got better: in an interview with Reuters Suga added that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s comment to the Wall Street Journal last week that countries should avoid “arbitrary intervention,” was misunderstood and does not rule out intervention for Japan, Suga said.

And yet it did rule out intervention until now? He clarified. “What the G20 is talking about is arbitrary intervention, which is different from responding to a one-sided move,” Suga told Reuters in an interview on Saturday.

So arbitrary is not really arbitrary if as a result of other arbitrary devaluations the market decides to focus on Japan… which sound oddly like Obama defending Hillary and explaining how confidential is not confidential.

As Reuters notes, some traders have said Japan cannot sell its own currency now, because the G20 warned countries in February to refrain from competitive devaluation. Suga, who coordinates other ministers in Abe’s cabinet, rejected this idea outright and said Abe’s remarks about arbitrary intervention in a Wall Street Journal interview last week were misunderstood.

“The prime minister’s comments were based on the G20 understanding that long-term manipulation of currencies is undesirable.”

As a reminder, the last time Japanese authorities intervened directly in the market was in 2011, when Tokyo got an explicit G7 consent to stem a yen spike driven by speculation that a devastating earthquake and nuclear disaster in March would force Japanese insurers to repatriate funds to pay claims.

What is fascinating is how weak even Japan’s attempts at verbal intervention have become.

The attempts at posturing continued: …
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Bernie and the Big Banks

 

Bernie and the Big Banks

Courtesy of Robert Reich

The recent kerfluffle about Bernie Sanders purportedly not knowing how to bust up the big banks says far more about the threat Sanders poses to the Democratic establishment and its Wall Street wing than it does about the candidate himself.

Of course Sanders knows how to bust up the big banks. He’s already introduced legislation to do just that. And even without new legislation a president has the power under the Dodd-Frank reform act to initiate such a breakup.

But Sanders threatens the Democratic establishment and Wall Street, not least because he’s intent on doing exactly what he says he’ll do: breaking up the biggest banks.

The biggest are far larger today than they were in 2008 when they were deemed “too big to fail.” Then, the five largest held around 30 percent of all U.S. banking assets. Today they have 44 percent.

According to a recent analysis by Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the assets of just four giant banks – JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo – amount to 97 percent of our the nation’s entire gross domestic product in 2012.

Which means they’re now way too big to fail. The danger to the economy isn’t just their indebtedness. It’s their dominance over the entire financial and economic system.

Bernie Sanders isn’t the only one urging the big banks be broken up. Neel Kashkari, the new president of the Federal Reserve bank of Minneapolis – a Republican who used to be at Goldman Sachs – is also pushing to break them up, as has the former head of the Dallas Federal Reserve, among others.

Recall that just eight years ago the biggest banks were up to their ears in fraudulent practices – lending money to mortgage originators to make risky home loans laced with false claims, buying back those loans and repackaging them for investors without revealing their risks, and then participating in a wave of fraudulent foreclosures.  

Dodd-Frank addressed these sorts of abuses in broad strokes but left the most important decisions to regulatory agencies.

Since then, platoons of Wall Street lobbyists, lawyers and litigators have…
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Caught On Tape: U.S. Plane Allegedly Drops Weapons for ISIS Militants in Iraq

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One day after reprorting that British military information services Janes, had found confirmation of several shipments amounting to 3,000 tons of weapons and ammo to Al-Qaeda linked Syrian rebels in a transport solicitation on the U.S. government website FedBizOps.gov, today Veterans Today goes deeper into the rabbit hole and reports that several Iraqi policemen claim to have seen US aircraft dropping weapons and munitions for ISIS terrorists in a region west of the Anbar province on Friday.

According to VT, in a video posted on Iraq’s al-Maaloomah news website on Sunday, the policemen are purportedly heard saying that the American plane had also jammed their communication devices in the Hadisah Island district.

“There is an American aircraft seen at four o’clock in the morning on Friday over the Hadisah Island district of the Anbar province, delivering weapons and munitions to ISIS criminals,” one of the policemen says.

“The plane proceeded to jam radar devices of the police regiment stationed in Hadisah Island to prevent contact between the affiliates and the headquarters of the regiment,” he added.

The man said they had seen a military vehicle of ISIS arriving in the region a few minutes later and transferring the weapons to the place the group controlled.

In the video, the man and his associates are heard appealing to Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to follow up the issue.

VT adds that the Iraqi army and the volunteer Hashd al-Shaabi forces liberated the district from ISIS terrorists just last month. The US may have different plans, however.

Ironically, this took place just hours after US SecState John Kerry visited Baghdad on Frday, where he said ISIS was losing ground, including more than 40 percent of the territory that they once controlled in the country.

President Barack Obama is reportedly weighing an increase in the number of American troops in Iraq but Kerry said there had been no formal request from the Iraqis and the issue had not been raised on Friday.

Even more curiously, the Daily Beast reported last week that there are at least 12 U.S. generals in Iraq, “a stunningly high number for a war that, if you believe the White House talking points,…
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ValueWalk

#1 Performing Global Macro Hedge Fund Sees More Shorts Opportunities Ahead As China Bursts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Crescat Global Macro Fund update to investors on 1/19/2019

Crescat Global Macro Fund and Crescat Long/Short fund delivered strong returns for both December and full year 2018 in a difficult market. Based on ...



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Zero Hedge

Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers Face $1 Billion Suit For Infecting Guatemalan Hookers With Syphilis 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A federal judge in Maryland said Johns Hopkins University, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a top-secret program in the 1940s ran by the US government that injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, reported Reuters.

Several doctors from Hopkins an...



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Phil's Favorites

Divisive economics

 

Guest author David Brin — scientist, technology consultant, best-selling author and futurist — explores the records of Democrats and Republicans on the US economy in the following post. For David's latest posts, visit the CONTRARY BRIN blog. For his books and short stories, visit his web...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...



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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Insider Scoop

Cars.com Explores Strategic Alternatives, Analyst Sees Possible Sale Price Around $30 Per Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 44 Biggest Movers From Yesterday 38 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session ...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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